South River Green Team debuts on Earth Day

By VASHTI HARRIS
Staff Writer

SOUTH RIVER– Aiming to create a more sustainable and greener community for residents, the South River Green Team held its first meeting on Earth Day, April 22.

The Green Team was formed as a permanent advisory committee to the borough to encourage sustainable practices and become environmentally friendly within the borough, according to Julie Meira, South River councilwoman and council liaison to the Green Team.

“The importance of this commission is to direct and advise the council on Sustainable Jersey programs, work with existing groups within the borough whose actions effect environmental issues, [and] provide suggestions for further research and action to the Borough Council. Also, [the commission will] manage and organize various ad hoc environmental groups within the borough to solicit and evaluate environmental ideas and suggestions from the community,” Meira said.

The South River Green Team is comprised of members Bonnie Trygar, who is chairperson of the Environmental Commission/Shade Tree Advisory Board; Charles Basner, who is a member from Parks & Recreation; Ruell Brown; Rich Alai, and Joseph Hyland, according to Meira.

“There is also a vacancy of two junior members, which we would love to fill with any teen who wishes to volunteer,” Meira said.

The creation of the Green Team came after the Borough Council passed a resolution on Feb. 13, allowing them to register the borough to Sustainable Jersey. One of the first tasks of boroughs joining the program is for them to create a commission to oversee the progress of obtaining Sustainable Jersey certification. On March 27, the borough amended its code to add a “Green Team” empowered to oversee this program, according to the borough’s website.

“Sustainable jersey is a non-profit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. This is essentially important to South River as we strive to environmentally improve our quality of life.

“On Feb. 13, the borough passed a resolution to apply for registration to Sustainable Jersey which has opened the door to so many great things for South River, such as applying for Tree City USA on Feb. 27. These are just the beginning steps of the formation of the Green Team as we begin to unravel new ideas and programs to benefit all residents of South River,” Meira said. “I am glad to be the liaison to this commission as improving our quality of life is beneficial now and for future generations.”

For more information on the Green Team, visit www.southrivernj.org/greenteam.html.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.